The last few years in Gelsenkirchen have been turbulent to say the least. Schalke's troubles have already produced one recent relegation and it appears the club are well on course to make it a double.
When the club returned to the Bundesliga last summer, there was hope that the Royal Blues may finally turn a page in what has been a dark chapter of their history. Instead, Schalke are freefalling into the second division without a parachute. Tuesday night proved another sombre occasion for the once great German institution. Schalke, who are riddled with injuries and are seemingly unable to strengthen in the transfer market due to their poor finances, welcomed title challengers RB Leipzig to the Veltins Arena for what proved to be a bloodbath. It didn't take long for the visitors to strike as Andre Silva moved Marco Rose's side ahead after just seven minutes.
Benjamin Henrichs doubled that lead eight minutes later, while further goals from Silva and Timo Werner gave Leipzig a four-goal advantage at the break.
Schalke responded early in the second half through Soichiro Kozuki, however his effort failed to inspire a comeback.
Instead, goals from Dani Olmo and Yussuf Poulsen completed Leipzig's raid, leaving Schalke rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga with just nine points from 17 games.
"It was an absolutely disappointing performance," said manager Thomas Reis (as quoted by Der Westen).
"If you don't accept any tackles in the first half and let the opponent run at the decisive moment, then you have to honestly say that if you were to repeat the performance, you wouldn't be looking for anything in the Bundesliga. We know we can do better." Reis also had a message for the plus 56,000 supporters, adding: "I can only apologize to the audience. You can't present yourself like that at home." Schalke are seven points adrift of safety and have just 17 games left to turn their fortunes around. The Royal Blues will stay at home for the next game when they welcome mid-table FC Koln. "You have to show a different face on Sunday," said Reis. "We have to find those who have a clear head again, who accept the duels in order to be successful."
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